Hello! I am so excited to be working with the Minnesota Community Health Worker Alliance and MDH to implement the HRSA grant. This is such an amazing opportunity for Minnesota and such an incredible time to be part of the Community Health Worker Movement.
To this experience I am bringing experience of direct work as a CHW for the Winona Community HUB program as well as experience as the Winona Community HUB Manager, a role that I will continue in throughout my work with MNCHWA on this project.
Like many CHWs, when I learned about the CHW profession it felt like putting a name to work that I had been doing in my community for years. Prior to earning my CHW Certificate, I lived and worked in collectively run emergency shelters where we shared space and lived in community with folks who were most affected by unjust structures.
It is the deep knowledge and understanding of communities most affected by these unjust structures that makes the role of CHWs so vital in our healthcare system, and I am thrilled that this expertise is beginning to be valued in tangible ways like this grant from HRSA.
I am so thankful to be working with such a talented team; I know that we are going to do awesome work together!
Vonyee Howard, HRSA Field Experience/Apprenticeship Coordinator
Vonyee’s extensive background and experience in healthcare and human services has allowed her to evolve and foster her reputation as an “expert CHW” in Minnesota.
Vonyee’s Community Health Worker (CHW) career includes an array of work experiences, competencies and skills acquired both in the past, as well as along the way. Retaining and honoring the importance of these collectives has proven to be complimentary to Vonyee’s individual style of work as a CHW. Within the profession, Vonyee is known for her work with Older Adults as well as with adults diagnosed with chronic health conditions. During her tenure as a CHW, Vonyee has developed programs, implemented and modeled the standards of the CHW role, trained CHWs and organizations where CHWs are employed, and more.
Vonyee authored the Healthy Aging module of revised Minnesota CHW Certificate Curriculum.
Currently, Vonyee is an Independent CHW Consultant and Contractor, and is the HRSA Grant Field Experience/Apprenticeship Coordinator at the MN CHW Alliance. She is also a Doula.
Second Harvest Heartland School Emergency Food Program Grants will support the startup, expansion, continuation, and innovation of school site-affiliated emergency food programs that increase access to nutritious, desired, and culturally connected foods for students and their families. Eligible school site-affiliated emergency food programs include:
School-based Food Pantry
Food Distributions/Pop-up Produce at Schools
Weekend Food Bag/Backpack Programs at Schools
Mobile Markets/Meal Delivery at Schools
Applicants must be a Second Harvest Heartland Agency Partner in good financial standing
Priority will be given to applicants who are focusing efforts to meet the needs of students of color and underserved students impacted by systemic and structural health, social and economic inequities.
Second Harvest Heartland School Nutrition Program Grants will support the startup, expansion, continuation, and innovation of School Nutrition and Out-of-School Time Meal Programs that increase access to nutritious, desired, and culturally connected foods for students. Eligible programs include:
School meals for students through School Nutrition Programs – School Breakfast Program (SBP) – National School Lunch Program (NSLP)
Meals and snacks for students through Out-of-School Time Meal Options – NSLP snack -Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) At-Risk Afterschool Meals Program -CACFP Outside-School-Hours Care Component
Applicants must be a public school district, authorized charter school, or 501(c)(3) designated not-for-profit organization that operates School Nutrition or Out-of-School Time Meal Programs and in good financial standing
Priority will be given to applicants who are focusing efforts to meet the needs of students of color and underserved students impacted by systemic and structural health, social and economic inequities Please Note: Applicants who have not previously received a Second Harvest Heartland grant for the 2022-2023 school year will be given priority.
Project REACH (Rural Experts Advancing Community Health) provides diverse community leaders in rural Minnesota with health policy and leadership training that will help them build skills to successfully advocate to improve health in their rural communities. Project REACH is an initiative of the University of Minnesota Rural Health Program. Throughout the year-long program, participants receive training and technical assistance around using local research and data, health policy, effective policy communication, and civic engagement. The program also connects rural Minnesota community leaders with experts and resources from the University of Minnesota as well as with other rural advocates and organizations across the state. Upon completion of the program, participants receive a $1,200 stipend and a certificate of completion.
More information about Project REACH can be found on the program website: https://ctsi.umn.edu/training/project-reach Individuals (ages 18 and older) working or living in rural Minnesota who want to improve health in their community by building skills in health policy problem framing and effective communication with state legislators and other policymakers are encouraged to apply. Interest forms for participation in the 2023-2024 cohort will be accepted until Monday February 20, 2023 at 5 pm: https://redcap.ahc.umn.edu/surveys/?s=YW9HAKRFF38AKJDM.
Questions about the program and application process can be directed to Katie Rydberg at email@example.com.
Angela R. Fields, CHW and Associate Executive Director
My CHW journey to becoming the Associate Executive Director (AED) at the Minnesota CHW Alliance. Angela R. Fields is a Community Health Worker. Angela is a dedicated and experienced service provider, entrepreneur, mother, and grandmother. Angela credits her family for inspiring her zest for life, her drive and ambition, and passion for being a helping professional. Ms. Fields has over thirty years of experience in the healthcare industry. Angela received her Associates Degree in Human Services and her Community Health Worker Certification from Minneapolis Technical College. For over three decades Ms. Fields has worked as an allied health worker in the areas of Phlebotomy, Nursing Assistant, Electrocardiography, Medication Management and as a Mental Health Practitioner. Angela also has an extensive history in clinical laboratory work and in-home health care. Angela volunteers regularly and is an active and engaged community member for the betterment of those suffering from chronic health issues including mental health diagnosis and substance use disorders and those experiencing economic disparities. Angela is accustomed to working with multidisciplinary care teams across health and social systems providing customized education, information, and applicable resources in a person-lead approach. Angela facilitates the monthly CHW Learning Circle for the Minnesota CHW Alliance (MNCHWA). The MNCHWA Learning Circle is brought to you by the Minnesota CHW Alliance which lays out a platform designed of clear organizational goals and objectives for the advancement of all those in the CHW profession. Angela Fields understands the importance of CHW leadership, workforce development, job readiness and job sustainability for those in her profession. Angela is the newly appointed Associate’s Executive Director at the Minnesota CHW Alliance. Angela brings her strategic thinking, good judgment, vision, and leadership skills to her role as Associate Executive Director. On a lighter note, in her free time Angela enjoys the simple things in life such as gardening, cooking, and avidly reading books. She loves spending time with friends and family especially her beloved grandchildren that affectionately refer to her as “Nana.”
Welcome to your new role as the Associate Executive Director Angela. We are so glad you are a part of our growing team!
The University of Minnesota (U of M) will be hosting a free workshop on Social Determinants of Health and is open to everyone. There will be discussions on social determinants of health and aging, and case studies that connects health and its impacts. The workshop will feature three speakers with relation to public health. Please join us by registering below.
I am so excited to be sharing the first monthly blog update from the Alliance’s Executive Director with you. My name is Adri Lobitz- I have been in this role for six months. I am already elated with the growth the Alliance has undergone and the exciting opportunities on the horizon.
Since the beginning of the year, the Alliance has been working hard to advocate and garner support for legislation to be passed that will fortify and grow the CHW field in Minnesota. Passing this legislation will build the capacity of CHWs to address health disparities and Social Determinates of Health, establish awareness of the importance and impact of CHWs, and increase organizational readiness for those who employ CHWs. If you would like to assist in this effort, please reach out to your representative to let them know the importance of CHWs and encourage them to support this funding.
The Alliance continues to host monthly CHW Learning Circle meetings on the first Wednesday of every month and a Supervisor Roundtable every month. If you would like to be added to the email list for either of these events, please reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for visiting the Alliance’s website and blog! I hope you have found this site to be a resource on CHWs and a place for connection on our CHW Registry. I am looking forward to continuing to share updates with you and more opportunities to connect with the Alliance.
“It’s concerning that we’re seeing resurgences of vaccine-preventable diseases across the country,” says Susan Palchick, Hennepin County Public Health director. “Immunizations keep your kids protected and prevent disease outbreaks in our community. Now is the time to get your children caught up for summer activities and the upcoming school year.”
Connecting to childhood immunization services is easy
Hennepin County has programs to help families get their kids caught up on all childhood immunizations, regardless of their health insurance status. The county can also help families connect to services not run by Hennepin County.
To get started:
Visit the county’s childhood immunization website, hennepin.us/immunizations. The site lists immunization programs and resources, like the recommended vaccine schedule.
Call 612-348-8900. Help is available in English, Spanish, Somali, and Hmong.
Thank you to everyone who has been following the Alliance for a while. We are no longer taking applications for the CHW Registry. Scholarships are only available based on funding availability. Sorry for any inconvenience. Please check back later.